In June of this year I was in San Francisco for the Team Trials and visited with Gary Schneider, a good friend who had moved there from Fort Lauderdale. We took a few days to see Alcatraz, scenic Marin County, and the Zoo. And speaking of zoos, back to bridge.
Schneider was South on this 1986 deal at the FLBC. He opened an off-shape 1 NT, a reasonable bid having an honor in each doubleton. This caused West to huddle momentarily a clue that Schneider would use later. Norths 2 was a Jacoby transfer and South obligingly bid 2 . North next bid 2 to show 5-5 in the majors and South jumped to game with his great heart fit.
West led the A and shifted to a diamond, won by dummys jack. The normal play to avoid a loser in the trump suit is to finesse the queen; but Schneider felt West had the king from his reluctant pass over 1 NT. Accordingly, he embarked on a clever campaign to induce an error. He cashed the A, crossed to the A, and led another heart; jack; queen; king.
West was on lead in an uncomfortable situation. Looking at all four hands it is obvious to lead a spade and defeat the contract; but West did not know his partner held the A. Clearly, a diamond lead would yield a ruff and discard, so West returned a harmless club. This indeed would have been harmless if declarer held a balanced hand; but the hidden five-card club suit provided four discards for Norths spades. I guess you could say that West was schneidered on this one.
© 1996 Richard Pavlicek